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Afghanistan National Police: An Exercise in Survival (VIDEO)Tim King, in Afghanistan, for Salem-News.com
DISPATCHES FROM AFGHANISTAN
(KABUL, Afghanistan) - The National Police of Afghanistan have their hands full, working with coalition forces and trying to get a grip on crime in a nation that has almost no laws or legal system. Oregon soldiers are doing regular patrols with the Afghan Police and as Tim King shows us in this next report, the challenges for these low paid law enforcement officers are many.
The ANP as they are called, have been the subject of several reports in recent weeks. They are criticized for corruption and the small number that hit the streets each day is dwindling as men quit their posts in search of higher paying jobs.
Two officers that an Oregon Guard platoon and I went out on patrol with this week, didn't even have gloves, let alone body armor or other standard police gear.
"Right now we have 3,500 Afghani,” said Abib, an ANP Officer (via interpreter).
Another Officer, Barriela, added, “We don't have enough money because here everything is day by day, the price has become high."
The night patrol with the ANA was part of a cross training exercise. Coalition troops are doing what they can to assist these officers who didn't even have gloves to insulate them from the 19-degree winter air.
Our interpreter, Matiullah, talked about life before the ANP, when the country was under Taliban rule.
"I had five brothers, my one brother killed a Russian, the bombing started. Like my other brother like the Taliban they decapitated him with a knife. He left behind five children. My one daughter she was two years old, she was playing outside, the Taliban were shooting, the Taliban killed her also."
What could only be described as horror stories abound everywhere in this country. But the Americans had something to cheer everyone up, they brought a huge load of candy to give to kids in Kabul. It was not the kind of sight that a person soon forgets.
The trek back to Camp Phoenix was made in total darkness. Still, the visible environment kept its air of tension and mystique.
Generators provide the only electricity, and donkey carts still block traffic.
Then a local boy overtook our group, his presence like an odd gift in these dark and all too often bizarre surroundings.
I asked him, "So how much time do you spend on English each day?
"Uh, twelve o'clock, come back two o'clock,” Ahmed answered, and then walked off into the darkness, “Bye!"
New programs are going into place soon that should help clamp down on police corruption, but ANP officers say only a living wage and proper equipment will attract the type of people that can give law enforcement a lasting and professional existence in Afghanistan.
Watch the Streaming Video News Report below, direct from Kabul, Afghanistan by Tim King:
If you are interested in sponsoring a special report, direct from the 41st Combat Brigade at Camp Phoenix, Kabul, Afghanistan, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DISPATCHES FROM AFGHANISTAN "SUPPORT GROUP"
Love Boxes sponsor of special report, and fantastic support group for all of our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Send a Love Box: http://www.loveboxesforourtroops.com
Salem Police provided body armor, military rainproof clothing and other small materials from their SWAT team that will make a big difference for Tim's level of safety.
Eola Hills Winery hosted a winetasting fundraiser on October 13th. Special thanks goes to Eric Rogers, Terri & Ann. Visit Eola Hills at http://eolahills.com
McDonalds Restaurants of Salem provided $1,100 toward the trip to Afghanistan. We hardly know how to thank them enough, but we know this is one organization that sees the value of bringing the stories of our Oregon soldiers home.
Nopps Jewelry and Art provided a kevlar military issue helmet with a value of $250. This is greatly appreciated! You can visit their site: www.nopps.com
Eric Mason of Salem provided $100 toward Tim's trip to Afghanistan. Eric and Tim formerly worked together at Portland, Oregon's ABC station.
Jesse Anderson of Lincoln City provided funds to help, as did Dan and Marti Motley of Salem. One of Salem's most courageous families, David and Arlene Banks, provided $100 toward Tim's trip.
Another pair of Salem heroes, Scott Smith and Margaret Sanner, provided funds to assist with Tim's Afghanistan trip.
Roger Yost and Alessandro's Ristorante have provided generous assistance for the Afghanistan coverage.
Camo and Gear Military Surplus in Salem contributed a pair of new military issue boots that will be ideal for use in Afghanistan.
Tom Golden of Golden’s Funeral Service, Proud of the past, prepared for the future.
Other supporters wish not to be named, but we appreciate them greatly, and each and every contribution makes a big difference.
We will continue to keep you updated on the people and organizations that support Oregon troops and are making Dispatches from Afghanistan possible.
A special THANK YOU to these Silent Auction contributors: Extreme Velocity Paintball, Beads-a-Million, SLAB, Oak Knoll Golf Course, Best Lil Roadhouse, Los Baez, EZ Orchards, Adams Ribs Smokehouse, Willamette Queen, Thailand Restaurant, Lela Kelly, Frank Matthews and Tina Miller Thanks!
Salem-News.com is a locally owned news organization. Sponsorship of Tim's reports on Salem-News.com is very affordable with enormous exposure, and the reports will be archived complete with your commercial.
If you would like to advertise, or join the others listed who have assisted through contributions, there is still plenty of need. Help the effort to bring home the stories of Oregon soldiers.
This report was filed by Tim King while embedded in Kabul, Afghanistan with the 41st Combat Brigade of the Oregon National Guard.
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